The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is a not-for-profit, international membership organisation that is working to transform markets to make sustainable palm oil the norm. To do this, we have united stakeholders from all sectors of the palm oil supply chain and civil society to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil production and procurement.

At RSPO, we believe that a not-for-profit organisation is made successful by the passion, skills, and expertise of its members and staff. They are the ones who drive our organisation to new heights and guide us through the next phase of our development.

At RSPO, we bring together all actors within the palm oil supply chain to initiate change that will push the industry towards elevating the protection of human rights, to ensure the production of sustainable palm oil.

The RSPO Principles & (P&C) contain the standards that RSPO Members have volunteered to abide with. Human rights and social standards in the P&C are key in ensuring human rights of workers, children, women, indigenous peoples and land user rights are protected, among others.

This said, social issues related to palm oil operations are among the most difficult to identify and audit, as well as the most challenging to manage or remediate. These include, but are not limited to: land rights, migrant workers’ rights, categories of workers rights (casual, temporary, full-time, etc), deceptive recruitment, forced labour, freedom of association, child labour, gender discrimination, harassment, human rights defenders and FPIC processes.

The Manager of Human Rights & Social Standards (Innovation & Impact) will manage activities and programmes for the development and interpretation of the RSPO standards pertaining to human rights and social standards in the P&C . S/he will support the organisation on technical aspects in the all areas of human rights and social standards. This includes, research, analysis, documentation preparation, concept note development, development of papers on RSPO position and guidance/informative documents.


Duties include but will not be limited to the following:

  • Advise on all issues related to innovation, impact and compliance with Human Rights and Social Standards contained in RSPO’s Principles & Criterion.
  • Prepare responses to questions on RSPO’s human rights and social standards.
  • Propose and develop revisions to the RSPO standards on human rights and social standards that are in RSPO’s key documents, procedures and guidelines, and ensure that they are based on global best practices, such as the ILO Labour Standards and other international conventions, protocols and recommendations;
  • Develop strategies on measuring impact of RSPO’s human rights and social standards in the Principles & Criteria.
  • Assess opportunities and the applicability of new technologies/tools to assist members in compliance to RSPO Standards including facilitate development, piloting of tools, risk-based assessment, best management practices relevant to implementing human rights and social standards.
  • Draft Guidelines/Guidance/Procedures to facilitate compliance with human rights and social standards.
  • Support other Units and Departments requests related to human rights and social standards. This includes research, presentations, responses, monitoring and impact evaluation.
  • Coordinate and facilitate training and socialisation of RSPO’s human rights and social standards.
  • Represent the Secretariat at selected events / forums as and when required;
  • Ensure relevant internal stakeholders are regularly kept informed on related discussions and meetings.
  • Manage HRWG’s Subgroups and the implementation of their projects.
  • Collaborate and work with RSPO’s regional offices to ensure that human rights and social standards are understood and implemented.
  • Manage and supervise external consultants and service providers that work on human rights and social standards related projects or assignments.
  • Prepare communication materials related to interpretation and compliance of human rights and social standards including all related documents.
  • Undertake necessary actions and activities under the coordination of the Head of Human Rights and Social Standards Unit (HRSS Unit) and Director of Standards Department.

Apart from the duties stated above, to perform any duties assigned.



  • University degree in law, human rights, political science,  public policy, or equivalent. A Masters in Human Rights would be advantageous.


  • A minimum of 6 years’ work experience, diversified and progressively responsible professional experience including at least 3 years at the management level relevant to the actual position.
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in human rights programme development and political analysis, including the production of reports, analysis of human rights and written briefings.
  • Presentation to diverse audience is required
  • Working experience in the palm oil industry is an advantage
  • Legal practice may be advantageous
  • Proven track record in Human Rights work

Technical and Professional Knowledge

  • Knowledge of the International Bill of Human Rights, in international Labour Conventions (under International Labour Organisation), and Human Rights Treaties and Conventions, Declarations, and rules and regulations which are applicable in the production of palm oil globally
  • A detailed understanding of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
  • Familiar with sustainability issues and human rights aspects of the Palm Oil Industry
  • Familiar with directives, human rights due diligence initiatives and requirements related to the Palm Oil industry
  • A background in implementing wide-reaching human rights programme in complex organisations.
  • Able to engage with a diverse stakeholder base, including NGOs, Corporates and Governments.
  • Good understanding of the work of the RSPO and standards.
  • Familiar with other sustainability schemes (e.g., Forest Stewardship Council, Marine Stewardship Council, Rainforest Alliance etc.)
  • Financial and accounting work including budget preparation
  • Project Management experience
  • Experience in working at a national, regional or international secretariat is advantageous
  • Proficiency in MS Office applications (Excel, Word, PowerPoint)
  • Proficiency in Design applications is advantageous


  • Strong analytical and legal skills to develop standards and requirements.
  • Ability and willingness to work with people of different backgrounds and diverse political views while maintaining impartiality and objectivity with tact and diplomacy in dealing with both external persons and multinational staff
  • Ability to research, source, network for relevant and pertinent information related to RSPO’s human rights and social standards.
  • Ability to take instructions, read, digest and apply information to the work at hand
  • Ability in establishing cooperation and rapport with internal and external parties of different backgrounds and/or nationalities
  • Demonstrable organizational, analytical, communication and interpersonal skills
  • Good understanding of both the human rights and social standards situation in countries in which RSPO members operate
  • High integrity and a good team player
  • Initiative and problem solving
  • Goal oriented and organized
  • Proactive
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Detail orientated
  • Self-motivated and self-directed
  • Ability to manage a team under pressure
  • Strong in strategic and negotiation skills
  • Proficiency in English with excellent communication skills


Your commitment and passion to drive innovation will be rewarded with an opportunity to work in an international multi-stakeholder organisation, where making a difference to People, Planet and Prosperity is not just a statement, but what we passionately believe in.

Operating within a dynamic and fast-paced environment, you will enjoy functioning within a role that offers the opportunity to broaden your skill set and develop your capabilities.


Qualified applicants are invited to send in their updated CV giving comprehensive details of educational background, work experience, and related achievements to [email protected]. Please state “Job Application – Manager, Human Rights & Social Standards (Innovation & Impact)” in your email subject line.

**RSPO is an equal opportunity employer. Due to the volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

Get Involved

Whether you’re an individual or an organisation, you can help make sustainable palm oil the norm.

As an individual

Take a stand for sustainable palm oil with your weekly shopping. See how you can influence brands and businesses.

More on individual action

As a smallholder

Discover how RSPO Certification can introduce you to sustainable farming practices to increase your yield and the land and wildlife around your smallholding.

More on smallholder impact

As an organisation

You can make an impact on reducing the negative social and environmental impact of conventional oil palm cultivation through producing and sourcing certified sustainable palm oil.

More on organisation influence